THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOE BUSINESS
Reebok is looking for a Chief Marketing Officer, as the
company is "set to launch a pivotal ad campaign marking an
evolution of its 'Planet Reebok' theme," according to Jensen &
Sloan in the current ADVERTISING AGE. The position will report
to President Robert Meers. AD AGE notes shareholders are
pressuring Chair Paul Fireman to "spur profits and pump up" the
company's "sagging stock price." Reebok would like to introduce
the new executive next month at the Super Show, according to
reports. The new campaign, set to break in the next few weeks,
has received impressive reviews from retailers who have seen it
(ADVERTISING AGE, 1/8 issue).
OFF THE WALL: A city of Boston zoning official has refused
to allow Nike to paint a "mural" of Bruins star Cam Neely on the
side of a downtown building for January 19-20 NHL All-Star
weekend. City inspectors say the work represents a commercial
activity. Nike awaits a ruling by the zoning board of appeals.
If approved, Nike will go forward, even if the mural isn't done
by the All Star Game. However, the BOSTON GLOBE's Joan Vennochi
notes "it's not exactly a secret" that Boston Mayor Tom Menino is
friends with Paul Fireman, leading "pro-Nike forces to speculate
that city officials are trying to kill the mural out of loyalty
to another sneaker brand" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/10).
COMING OUT PARTY: Nike's Canstar Sports will introduce its
first Nike skates during the All Star game in Boston. Nike
endorsers Neely, Scott Stevens, Jeremy Roenick and Sergei Fedorov
have been breaking the skates in during practice. All the skates
are black, according to reports, with a swoosh matching team
colors (FINANCIAL POST, 1/9).
OTHER SHOE NEWS & NOTES: NikeTown New York will be located
in a new eight-story building in midtown built by the company.
The store/museum will be located on 57th Street between 5th and
Madison Avenues (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/5)....Saturday's OREGONIAN
profiled Emmitt Smith's new Reebok ad that tackles Nike's
connection with Texas Stadium head-on. One of Smith's lines in
the ad (as he overlooks the Cowboys' home turf): "This is my
ranch, no matter what brand is on the front gate" (OREGONIAN,
1/6)....While sales of athletic footwear declined by 1.88% during
the first eight months of '95, total dollars spent rose 2.4%.
The Athletic Footwear Association estimates that for the first
time in several years, consumers may be spending "slightly more"
on footwear (Athletic Footwear Association).